Buggy Boreal

Alain Bessette and I had the best part of the day at Parc Tremblant yesterday, the weather was fine, the park quiet for humans and the bugs were out in force. Despite lathering on the Deet I have hard evidence of their ingenuity when it comes to sneaking past the lotions and snatching a belly full of quality blood. That aside the birding was pretty good although it was more of a target visit (for me at least) than a general one.

There are a few trails I stick too at Tremblant, mainly because I have always had a degree of success there but also because time tends to be of the essence. The best part of the day is dawn to around 11am generally. After that the birds get harder to see and tiredness kicks in after an early start. We got there reasonably early and were on a trail as the nearby camp awoke. I have long believed that Canadian children are instructed from an early age on how to be as loud as possible in quiet, wildlife areas and the camp’s occupants did nothing to dispel that notion. Fortunately we were out of earshot fairly soon and able to start our involuntary feeding of the insects.

Seeing birds in Boreal sites can be hard but every now and then the tracks open up a bit and sunny spots become hives of activity. So it was on our first track and we found a nice group of summer plumaged warblers containing Black-and-White, Yellow-rumped, Magnolia, Bay-breasted, Nashville and a very showy Canada Warbler. This year my St-Lazare breeding Canada Warblers failed to reappear and so this was a year bird. Swainson’s Thrushes were everywhere; a distant Olive-sided Flycatcher was vocal while Yellow-bellied Flycatchers were happier to show.

IMG_3599 (2) IMG_3587 (2) IMG_3584 (2) IMG_3572 (2) IMG_3567 (2) IMG_3564 (2) IMG_3559

On the walk back we came across Boreal Chickadees, easy to miss at times but three kept us occupied and allowed the bugs to save a bit of energy as we were no longer moving targets. I’ve yet to get a decent photo of a Boreal Chickadee, on day I will.

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The first track turned out to be the highlight and, try as we might, we couldn’t turn up any Grey Jays, we even drove the endless track to Rat Falls just in case the infrequent birds there were around, they were not. At the same time last year I had them following me around but that is how it is with Grey Jay, unpredictable. Our travels did add Chestnut-sided and Black-throated Blue Warbler to the modest day list of 44 species but no hawks.

It being ode season, I spent a bit of time looking but there was not the abundance I had expected.  I’ll post the results over on the ode blog when I have a moment. There were also a few butterflies around. Lots of White Admirals and a nice Bog Fritillary which was new for me.

Good news if you are waiting for my first eBook to appear on KOBO, it’s there, finally: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-CA/ebook/going-for-broke-7


2 thoughts on “Buggy Boreal

  1. Hello Mark,
    I’m visiting Parc Tremblant for a week this Saturday from Eastern Massachusetts. Can you recommend some trails I try? I’m especially interested in warblers and the boreal specialties. That Boreal Chickadee sure looks nice! Feel free to reply to me at sheinrich601613@gmail.com

    Thank you so much!

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